Tag Archives: trafalgar square

just musings

8 Dec

london 8.59am 5.5C sunny friday 2017 i was expecting a low of -1C but the lowest we got was 4.4C this morning about 8am.

yesterday night the lights are switched on the christmas tree in trafalgar square. it is the tree given to uk by norway every year since 1947 to thank britain for helping norway in world war 2. uk pays for the shipping and transport of the tree, which is provided by oslo.

there are so many trees in norway, so i hope this tree wont be missed.it is a huge tree and would have been many years old, maybe hundreds of years old… it always makes me feel a bit sad that it is cut down. something that have existed for so long, to be cut down for something so frivolous as this… but then, maybe it is only our own mind cooking up sensibilities that nature do not partake. nature will destroy things at a stroke and without any qualms, because it knows fresh growth will take its place just like that…

it is a nice gesture to give us a tree and we get to have a tree every year in trafalgar square. the decorations are very simple, but very bright. there is a webcam live showing the square 24hrs … so u can have a look at it if u like. it is daytime now, but at night it can be seen brightly lit. they have carol singing under the tree in the nights to the lead up to christmas day.

webcam live link

my friend asked me what i will be doing on christmas day and i said stay at home as all public transport is closed and all shops are shut. he said haven’t i got a bike or what, thinking that is what is keeping me indoors,  but i said where do i go, nothing is opened. that is the thing about christmas in uk, everything is shut. and those that are open will be jammed with people. for eg some restaurants in chinatown are open but they are really busy and they charge a extra charge for that day. not surprising, as they will have to pay their workers over time to work on that day… and maybe even provide transport for them to get to and back from work or provide accommodation near the shop.

there is a pub in richmond that gives out free lunch to the single people who dont have anyone to go to… it is a great offer, but only to locals living near them, as without public transport there is no way for us living far away to go there. and if we got a friend who have a car to drive us there, we will not have fulfilled their requirements, as we wont be people without a friend. haha.

most of us take walks around our area during christmas day, as the city looks very different on that day . it will be free of traffic for one thing. i live near the river thames so a walk along the river is always very nice. but i think mostly we just watch tv.

it is a day that you can spend on your own, if u dont like travelling and staying overnight with friends, or relations, because there is no public transport and if u dont have a car, or have friends living nearby, you cannot entertain on that day. and i suppose this makes people rather sad, if they dont like to be alone. i am one of the few who likes my own company. 

i have often thought it an anomaly, in this day and age to have no public transport and shops shut for a day in a big city like london… but i guess with the internet shopping available 24hrs, people will manage to overcome even this anomaly. though there is the problem when it is delivered and no one is at home. yesterday i got such a situation. a courier could not deliver a parcel to the flat downstairs, i happen to let him in, and he gave me the parcel, to keep for the owner. so far that owner had not come to my flat to get his parcel. added 7pm . my downstairs neighbour came to collect his package. 

today just now, i let in a courier, who had a parcel to deliver to the flat above me. i was expecting him to give it to me to keep for the owner, but he said it is special delivery and requires a signature. nowadays with so many not living in their flats, but letting it out, any block of flats without a porter will have these problems with delivery. 

chinese, in trafalgar square

14 Feb

london 12.55pm 8.2C cloudy sunday 2016

i just got back from the festival, at trafalgar square, and had the sandwich (melted cheese/lettuce/tomato) which i made and took to the square, but did not have time to eat it.

i got there early enough, to be able to get into the square. i was looking for the grocery store that used to sell very good bargains. this time they were unable to get a big corner to themselves and have to mix in with all the other stalls, so that i nearly missed it. i saw a young lady with a bag of chinese sauces, and vermicelli, telling all that it is 5 for £3. i did not connect at first that it is that store, and they were selling every item 5 for £3.

i bought 5 vermicelli singapore rice noodles 350mg for £3. she said i could mix and match but i only want the vermicelli. a bargain, and she even put in a free black soya drink. nice of her. when i left it was getting so v crowded. i went to the library to read the sunday papers. this one only has the sunday times. the other papers were either not ordered, or others have taken them away. when i came out, the streets were crowded with people. and it was impossible to get into trafalgar square. so i was glad to take the 88 back. luckily the 88 was running.

i have told friends i might be there, but i am afraid i could only stand it for 1hr. haha.

ah well, i know enough and shall next time just go for the grocery bargains and that means going there early. because the lady said they only offer these prices for a short time early in the day. i dont see anyone else buying these, maybe because no one wants to walk about all day carrying it. haha. they are not like me, who lives so near, i could in fact return to my flat, off load my bag, and go back to it without much interruptions to my being in the thick of it, if that is what i want.

it was quite fun, in that i have gone to see what it is all about and come to realise i just want the grocery bargains, the rest of it i can take it or leave it.  haha.

actually do go early, i met two chinese guys and told them about my bargain, and they top it by holding up a bottle of black soya sauce from amoy, and saying they got it free. haha. i did pass that amoy stall with a huge crowd of people there and decided not to bother finding out what it was.  after hearing him, i still felt it was not worthwhile to join the crowd to get it.

i think you can hold anything in london and you will be able to get a crowd. where did all these people come from i wonder?

on the bus going back home,i caught it at trafalgar square, i saw a crowd of foreign families with kids got on.  they got off at westminster abbey. so i suppose many will be foreign visitors. 

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5 of this vermicelli by yeo’s.

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what it looks like after it has been rehydrated. the noodles are slightly thicker than those i get from chinatown.

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i am a sucker for pens. it reminds me of those tourists who go to poor countries and give out pens and pencils. haha. i am like those kids eager to get hold of these pens, or pencils. i wonder why haha . i got these from the guys promoting lycamobile. there were another lot of guys giving some chinese brochures, which i cannot read; they have this red packet, but it contains a sweet.

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clockwork 5th lion for trafalgar square

28 Jan

london 5.38pm 9.4C thursday 2016 cloud.

i was on the C2 bus, that goes from victoria to parliament hill fields, via berkeley square and oxford st. it was really very crowded at about 12pm today, because something was going on in trafalgar square that made the buses 88,24  that runs through there to be diverted to greenpark and hydepark corner. and all the traffic diverted to go through berkeley square. it was a fearsome jam. i was on my way to john lewis to take advantage of the free cake and coffee voucher they have given me.

(it was very nice, too. haha. though thank goodness i dont get to eat it often, because it is always very sweet, even the cream eclair that i chosed. there was sweetened cream, and sweet icing on top. usually eclairs are less sweet, at least those that i once bought in bakery shops. but here they even sweeten the whipped  cream. )

anyway, i was at home  and decided to google it by typing in trafalgar square today, and it came up with this. fifth lion sculpture

Rachel Riley

cant quite make out where it is placed. there are 4 lions at the base of nelson’s column. so where is this 5th one?

anyway it must have been installed today and that might explain why the buses and traffic are diverted. looking at the pictures of it in that website, it does seem that one of the 4 lions have been embellished but that cannot be so, or they wont call it the 5th sculpture would they?

on the bus , i was at the top deck in the front, and there were two people, a man and his girlfriend or wife?  on the other seat. turned out they are french, living in NIce, on a 3 day holiday to london. they were on their way to camden market.

i told them usually the brits go to Nice for winter and not the french come here.

 in john lewis i asked if my 2 yr guarantee of my chromebook also includes repairing a inslot that has been pushed inwards on my chromebook. to be told it does not (it seems if it is done by the user it does not apply. simon pushed it in, whilst trying to insert something that connects to the tv into that slot.

and i have to pay for it if i want it done which they will need to send away. so i said nevermind, as i dont fancy paying for it, and i dont fancy not being able to use it whilst they sent it off for repairs. i thought they might be able to do it in house as it were and wont take a lot of time.

 but i guess the repair would necessitate taking it apart , opening the back, and that they might not be authorised to do. anyway it was a nice try. i shall just make do with the other usb inlet to download pictures from my camera rather than insert the memory card directly into my chromebook. 



christmas tree and carolling in trafalgar square.

4 Dec

london 2.58pm 13.1C, quite cloudy now, earlier it was sunny but very weak sun. friday 2015

yesterday the christmas tree in trafalgar square given to uk every year by norway was lit up.

wait till it gets dark, 3.53pm GMT tonight and u can see it in this webcam. its a live streaming video.

quite interesting to watch in daytime too, as it is like spying on the people  in trafalgar square. haha.

from today till 23dec there will be carol singing round that tree 4pm-8pm weekdays, 2pm-6pm weekends.

all the streets have lights strung across them all along their lengths now. so it is quite festive and christmasy. and the shop window displays will be all lit up too. 

added. 4.07pm, i see there is another bright light there, it is the menorah that is used by jewish people to celebrate hannukah. the candelabra is supposed to be lighted each day for 9 days. but i see in the live webcam a bright light where it is supposed to be, so it seems they have lighted it all at once. 

crowded london

25 Jul

london 3.07pm saturday 2015 sunny 19C

it was the eid celebration in trafalgar square today. so many people in central london and not just at the square but everywhere from parliament square up to and beyond trafalgar square. i am glad i dont live in that area.

today is dry and sunny so unlike yesterday when it rained all day and night. the eating stalls were extremely busy. there were not that many stalls, so its possible some have cancelled when they see the weather yesterday and think it will be the same today. if it had rained, like yesterday it would definitely be quieter. those stalls that decide to carry on now reap the rewards as queues were very long. 

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living in london pt 18

23 Jun


 i enjoy the weather here in london, no matter whether it is winter or summer. i know lots of people like summer, and this weather we are having now is ideal. and many must feel they have to make full use of it, go out even though they would much rather have a nap instead.

Because i like whatever the weather brings, whether rain, or shine or cold , I am not fearful of losing out and not experiencing this warm weather. To me, who suffer from hayfever i would rather be indoors now. 

I think the fear of losing out (FOLO) or fear of missing out (FOMO) affects a lot of people especially if they live in a happening place like london where there are many people wanting to make a business and so they organise functions designed to entice a lot of people to the place as the more footfalls there are , the better the chance that people will buy things and the businesses there will benefit.

Take for eg yesterday, when it is the longest day. Regent st was having its london bus event, and trafalgar square was reserved for the westend live stage show, featuring many of the musicals and theatre now on in the westend. And there was some kind of remembrance of the first world war in the cenotaph memorial in whitehall which means that stretch of road is blocked and the buses hve to be diverted. it causes mayhem with the buses and many confused tourists 

All in all, it makes for a very crowded central london. i went early at about 11am to the charing cross library, as it is the only one open so early on sunday and allready there was a long queue forming  to get into trafalgar square for the westend live shows. it starts at 12pm.

I can remember it used to be at leicester square and it was not very popular then, (or it was on its 2nd year i think and so not well known)and there was no queue; i was even able to win a prize in the draw that takes place every hour,  since i got there at about 10.30am that hour has less people registering for the draw. the price was £50 worth of products from some body shop in neals yard. now you know why we oldies always say the good ol days. haha.

Nowadays everything is so popular it is always crowded so that you have to get there early and still have to queue to get in. Though having said that i dont remember queueing to get into the opera nights in june at the trafalgar square . So maybe i am wrong about that. that is the danger of generalising. i think it is a bit of luck whether some place is crowded or not. 

I go to the library to charge up my chrome book, and i found a book to borrow. ‘the city of devi’ by manil suri.

After the library, i decided to buy some stuff in chinatown. surprisingly the grocery shops there were not busy and there was no queue to pay for them.

i bought sesame oil, £1.68 for 150ml. vermicelli noodles98p and flat noodles £1.05. and frozen fish balls 200mg £1.65.(fresh cost £2.20) malaysian curry250mg £1.35.  

Simon tells me he wants to cycle to work now. so we went to the bicycle shed where i keep the 3bikes that i found and he chosed one and we brought it up to the flat and put it in the spare bedroom. it is easier for him to get it than to go to the bike shed. it is summer so cycling is a nice experience but i found out by a casual mention he made about his fitness test coming along that it is his way of getting fit instead of going to the gym. he used to walk up and down the stairs but cycling would be a far better way of getting fit i think. He finds the bike quite strenous to use, as they have thick tyres. he said he tried out the ones with thin tyres and they are so light he can carry the whole bike easily. I have a feeling he has a hankering for those light , thin tyres bike.

When i was a kid, we have bikes like that. and they have only 3gears and they are really very easy to ride, as the tyres are large.  I have often wondered why in london everyone used mountain bikes with their thick tyres and their 22 gears.

after all, we live in london, there are paved roads there is no need for mountain bikes, but i guess it is the same mentality that favours cars with 4-wheel drives in the narrow streets of london. haha 



more food and thoughts on christmas

22 Nov

The supermarkets have upped their advertising for food ahead of the Christmas holidays. I have noticed lots more of these being shown on tv, and also in the papers.
And I noticed others are advertising more too… presents, clothing, liquor, perfume, with a Christmasy theme.

I am glad I am not celebrating it, because it must be a chore to be having to cook Christmas dinner for a lot of people.


I read online that the americans even have two holidays, around now. Once at thanksgiving holiday on 28th nov, and then Christmas on 25th dec.

That is even worse than in uk. After eating turkey for thanksgiving, they have to think of cooking something else for Christmas.

Ah well, I guess their souls wants it. Haha. Of course they don’t have to celebrate it.

I was at the Trafalgar square yesterday (thurs 21st nov), for a free pig meal. it was in aid of a campaign to feed waste food to pigs. I always thought farmers were doing it already, but it seems not so.

added. 24.11.13 i suspected there is a reason why pigs are not fed waste food, and why the EU bans it. here is why.

It was rather nice to get free food. Pigs were reared and fed waste food in a farm and now they are being fed to us. I had a mince pork ball in a lentil sauce, and a bun with coleslaw and pork. There were lots of stalls, and another was giving out pulled pork in a bun, which I really wanted but I was on the wrong queue.

I went early and so there was not a long wait, by the time I finished my food, the queue was getting long, and I did not fancy going back to queue again.

I asked a lady next to me, if she thinks the food is too salty. She said well, it is salty but that is normal. I fear it is normal nowadays for food sold to the public to be salty… it is only me who finds it too salty. (it was so salty that I became extremely thirsty. Luckily I always carry with me a bottle of water.)

Ah well, I am reconciled to this, with me being out of sync with the majority. So I guess I can continue not to bother eating out with a clear conscience, in that I am not missing out on anything, as the food won’t be to my liking anyway being too salty.

It is an admirable aim, to get more food waste being diverted from being dumped to being food for pigs. Hope they succeed in it.

With nothing to worry about, esp over the coming holiday season, I can look forward to December with joy instead of dread. And enjoy everyone fussing over the holidays without me having to do the same.

I would not like to be in the shoes of those who have to host family or friends or have to put on entertainment for them. Or even worse have to buy presents for them.

Long ago, I have initiated the idea of not buying presents for each other, and so now I reap the reward haha. No need to send or receive unwanted presents from anyone.

The other side of the coin to not celebrating christmas is that I shall be spending Christmas on my own. That goes without saying, as those who want to celebrate Christmas wont be interested in spending it with you, and you wont be accepting invites from friends to celebrate with them either.

So if u don’t like to celebrate Christmas but don’t like to be alone, I am afraid u have a dilemma. Haha.

A lot of people think that being alone at Christmas is a failure. And the movies and stories keep telling us so. If u are alone at Christmas, it means u are a scrooge. Dickens Christmas carol is to blame for this. I am glad I don’t conform to what others think. I want to be alone at Christmas. So there!
I think there are lots of people who feel the same, and don’t mind being alone for Christmas.

Now as for being alone at New Year… I like it, but I think not that many will feel the same way about it as I do.

For those who don’t like their own company this would be something to dread, but I welcome it. Haha.
I even turned down an invitation from john, in poole to join him and his friends for Christmas.

There are a glut of books being put out this time of year, I guess to catch the Christmas giving season, so I have loads of books I borrowed from the library to read.
I was at the library today and borrowed doomed, by chuck Palahniuk, tom Lloyd, the god tattoo. And I already have about 7 other books to read.

And then there are all those tv programs to see.

 browsing the web this morning and this came up in my reader. bitter melon with spam and tofu cooked in a new york street . as a child i did not like it, but as i grew older i got to like it. knowing the modern world i would bet the bitterness is bred out, so that it is not as bitter as it used to be.